Advisory Board Members

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The National Park System Advisory Board are citizen advisors chartered by Congress to help the National Park Service care for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

The Board was first authorized in 1935 under the Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act. The Board advises the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior on matters relating to the National Park Service, the National Park System, and programs administered by the National Park Service, including the administration of the Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act; the designation of national historic landmarks and national natural landmarks; and the national historic significance of proposed national historic trails. The Board may advise on matters submitted to the Board by the Director, as well as any other issues identified by the Board.

The Board's membership consists of no more than 12 individuals selected from among citizens of the United States having a demonstrated commitment to the mission of the National Park Service, and representing various geographic regions, including each of the administrative regions of the National Park Service. Membership includes (a) at least six individuals who have outstanding expertise in one or more of the fields of history, archeology, anthropology, historical or landscape architecture, biology, ecology, geology, marine science, or social science; (b) at least four individuals who have outstanding expertise and prior experience in the management of national or State parks or protected areas, or natural or cultural resources management; and (c) the remaining members are individuals who have outstanding expertise in one or more of the areas previously described, or in another professional or scientific discipline, such as financial management, recreation use management, land use planning or business management, as it relates to the mission of the National Park Service. At least one individual must be a locally elected official from an area adjacent to a park. Members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior for terms not to exceed four years.

NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


Cambridge, Massachusetts

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014
Qualifications for selection: FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Professor Linda Bilmes is widely considered one of the leading experts in U.S. budgeting and public finance. She has held several senior positions in government, including Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Representative to several high-ranking commissions, including an international audit of the Inter-American Investment Corporation. Bilmes holds a BA, MA, and MBA from Harvard University, and is a full-time faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she teaches budgeting and public finance. She also conducts Harvard's budgeting workshops for newly-elected mayors and Members of Congress. Bilmes has written extensively on financial and budgetary issues and has appeared on many national broadcasts.*

NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


Grand Lake, Colorado

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/24/2012 - 04/08/2014; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2012

(*Former Mayor of Grand Lake, Colorado, adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park)

The Honorable Judy Burke served from 2004 to April 2016 as Mayor of Grand Lake, Colorado, the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Prior to 2004, Burke served as mayor pro tem for eight years and as a trustee on the town board since 1988. Before her service on the town's board, she served on the city's Chamber of Commerce board. Throughout her service, Burke remained an active and ardent supporter of Rocky Mountain National Park. She served as the town's liaison with the Park prior to becoming mayor, and worked with the Park staff to help ensure that snowmobile access through a short section of the Park was maintained after snowmobile use on Park roads had been prohibited. Most recently, Burke served as a lightning rod to hasten wilderness designation for the Park. She is owner of Grand Realty, Inc., in Grand Lake and past president of Grand County Board of Realtors, Grand County Women's Council of Realtors. Burke holds a Master of Science in Business Education from Emporia State University with emphasis in economics and marketing.

Milton Chen
NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


San Francisco, California

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014
Qualifications for selection: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Dr. Milton Chen is Senior Fellow and Executive Director Emeritus of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, a non-profit operating foundation that utilizes its multimedia website (, and documentary films to communicate what works in public education. Edutopia media emphasize authentic learning experiences for children, such as connecting with nature and environmental and historical issues through the national parks. Prior to joining GLEF, Chen was the founding director of the KQED Center for Education (PBS) in San Francisco, director of research at Sesame Workshop in New York, and an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a trustee of Sesame Workshop and chairman of the Panasonic Foundation of New Jersey, which supports school district reform. Chen received an AB in social studies from Harvard College and a PhD in communication research from Stanford.*

Rita Colwell


College Park, Maryland

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014
Qualifications for selection: MARINE SCIENCE

Dr. Rita R. Colwell is Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Senior Advisor and Chair Emerita, Canon U.S. Life Sciences; and President, CosmosID, Inc. She was the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation and co-chair of its Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. She also has been President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received numerous awards, including the Stockholm Water Prize awarded by the King of Sweden, 2010, and the 2006 National Medal of Science award. Colwell has a BS and MS from Purdue University, and a PhD in oceanography from the University of Washington. As a nationally respected scientist and educator, Colwell currently is developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues.*

Belinda Faustinos
NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


Rosemead, California

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014

In May 2011 Belinda Faustinos retired as Executive Officer of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and three major joint powers agencies, where she had served since June 2002. She also served for 17 years as the Chief Deputy Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority where she worked closely with the National Park Service. Her current activities include serving as the Speaker appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and as the Senate Pro Tem alternate to the California Coastal Commission and as a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointee on two local citizen oversight boards and as a board member for several nonprofit organizations. Faustinos earned a bachelor's degree from Pitzer College in 1973.

Carolyn Finney


Lexington, Kentucky

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014

Dr. Carolyn Finney is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky. She was a member of the National Parks Second Century Commission. In her previous position at the University of California, Berkeley, Finney explored how difference, identity, representation, and power play a significant role in determining how people negotiate their daily lives in relation to the environment. By engaging art, science and popular culture, she works to create new frameworks of engagement where diverse communities and individuals, environmental organizations, government agencies and academic institutions can establish and nurture healthy human/environment relationships. Finney holds a B.A. and M.A. in international development, and completed her Ph.D. in geography at Clark University. She is a Canon National Parks Science Scholarship recipient; and, as a Fulbright fellow, she has also researched the impacts of tourism and modernization on Nepalese women and the environment. She has written a number of essays, her most recent entitled "Brave New World? Ruminations on Race in the 21st Century," published in the journal Antipode. Finney's first book manuscript, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, was published in June 2014 (UNC Press).*

Tony Knowles
NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


Anchorage, Alaska

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014

The Honorable Tony Knowles is a former Governor of Alaska (1994 to 2002), former mayor of Anchorage, and former chairman of The Western Governor's Association. He led efforts for State scientific and ecosystem based management of fish and wildlife resources, while working closely with Federal agencies. He fought for Alaska Native subsistence rights and State recognition of tribal rights. Previously in the restaurant and property development businesses, Knowles is now working with the George Kaiser Family Foundation to initiate the National Energy Policy Institute. He is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in economics.*

Gretchen Long
NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


Wilson, Wyoming

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014
Qualifications for selection: NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Over the past 25 years Gretchen Long has had a distinguished role as board leader of several conservation related organizations. She has chaired the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and the Murie Center in Grand Teton National Park. She has been vice chair of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and has served on the boards of the Land Trust Alliance, World Resources Institute, and Scenic Hudson. Currently she chairs the Land Trust Alliance National Council and serves on the board of NatureBridge. Long had a previous business career and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.*

Portait of woman
NPS photo


Falls Church, Virginia

Term of appointment: 1/04/2017 - 1/04/2021
Qualifications for selection: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Ms. Radelet is the President and CEO of Project Concern International, a global development organization working to enhance health, end hunger, and overcome hardship in 16 countries. She is a highly experienced leader of government, non-profit and for-profit international operations. She served from June 2014 to January 2017 as Director of the Peace Corps, where she had previously served as Acting Director (September 2012 to June 2014), and as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer (April 2010 to December 2015), providing executive direction by overseeing the programs and activities in more than 70 countries around the world. She served as Vice President and Director of the John Snow, Inc./JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) from September 2000 to April 2010 where she led global programs and directed operations of John Snow, Inc. (for-profit) and JSI (non-profit) in the Washington, D.C. area, and managed administrative and financial support to JSI's long- and short-term global contracts and budgets in excess of $800 million. From 1996 to 2000, Ms. Radelet was Director of JSI/Boston International Group, John Snow, Inc., where she managed operations of JSI's international programs in Boston and 20 bilateral field project offices throughout the world. She has served as HIV/AIDS Advisor at the Health and Child Survival Fellows Program, USAID, Jakarta, Indonesia (1994-95); Information, Education and Communications (IEC) Advisor at MotherCare Project, John Snow, Inc., Jakarta, Indonesia (1991-94); Director (acting) at Boston International Group, John Snow, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts (1989-91); Founder and Executive Director, Special Olympics/The Gambia, Banjul, The Gambia (1986-88); Consultant at Gambia Family Planning Association, Kanifing, The Gambia (1986-88); Public Affairs Manager, Peace Corps Regional Office, Boston, Massachusetts (1984-86); and Peace Corps Volunteer Secondary School Teacher, Apia, Western Samoa (1981-84), Radelet holds a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University School of Public Health (1990), a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Boston University College of Liberal Arts (1979), and numerous honorary doctorate degrees and other honors and awards from NGOs and international organizations.
Meg Wheatley
NPS / Diana Bowen and Sarah Eddy


Provo, Utah

Terms of appointment: 5/05/2014 - 5/05/2018; 4/08/2010 - 4/08/2014
Qualifications for selection: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Dr. Margaret Wheatley served in the Peace Corps in Korea in the 1960s, and received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard and a masters in Media Ecology from NYU. Wheatley is co-founder and President Emerita of The Berkana Institute. The Institute is a charitable global foundation that connects and supports pioneering, life-affirming leaders around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in its people, traditions and environment. Wheatley has written seven books on leadership and was a practicing consultant for 30 years to a wide variety of organizations and continents. She currently writes, teaches, and speaks about how we might organize and accomplish our work in chaotic times.*

* National Parks Second Century Commission Member